Department of Sociology and Criminology hosts 'Women in Justice Professions' event
- Author: Ashlee Gilbert, WKU Criminology major
- Author: Wednesday, December 4th, 2019
On Nov. 21, the Department of Sociology and Criminology hosted a “Women in Justice Professions” event in association with its Career Connections series.
In its third year, the series is designed to provide opportunities for students to make connections with women working in the justice field. The idea of making this event reflective of women specifically comes from research that demonstrates female underrepresentation in a number of justice professions.
During the event, college students—women and men alike—gained valuable insight from the professionals in attendance. The night began with a welcome from department head, Dr. Holli Drummond, who also served as the facilitator.
Dr. Drummond introduced the 26 female professionals in attendance and the sector of justice represented by her work. The group was exhaustive of justice professionals as the following sectors were included: victim advocacy, law enforcement, courts, pre-trial services, community corrections, juvenile justice, fragile families and substance abuse interventions. The women were seated at round tables throughout the room with two to three professionals at a table. Students were given the opportunity to sit with the professionals and talk about career paths, hardships faced in their field, internships and general advice. Dr. Drummond prompted the group with questions to consider and paused several times throughout the event for attendees to share some experiences with the entire group.
Overall, this event was met with overwhelming positivity from 60-plus students in attendance. The students reflected on the value offered by the chance to speak with and learn from these talented professionals.
From the perspective of the professionals, Ashley Clark, Clinical Supervisor for the Department of Family and Juvenile Services at the Administrative Office of the Courts, said: “I was so oblivious in college about all the opportunities out there. Though I had fabulous instructors at WKU many moons ago, an event like this would’ve been so eye opening.”
The event was co-sponsored by The Department of Sociology and Criminology, Gender and Women’s Studies, the Department of Psychological Sciences, Department of Political Science, and Department of Psychology.
The professionals in attendance were: April Fulcher, Victim Advocate with the Bowling Green Police Department; Alayna Milby, Director of Community Engagement Hope Harbor; Tori Henninger, Executive Director of BRASS; Penny Bowles, Deputy Chief of Operations of Bowling Green Police Department; Courtney Milan, Detective for Kentucky State Police; Michelle Kent, Retired Kentucky State Police Officer and School Resource Officer of Cadiz Police Department; Sherri Madison, Retired Kentucky State Police and Criminal Intelligence Analyst of Greater Hardin County Narcotics Task Force; Katherine Holderfield, Family Court Judge of Warren Circuit Court; Rebecca Simpson, Partner and Family Law Group Chair of ELPO Law; Katina Miner, Advocacy Director and Attorney at Law of Kentucky Legal Aid; Diana Werkman, Attorney at Law of Department of Public Advocacy; Kristy Vick-Stratton, Staff Attorney and Outreach Coordinator of Kentucky Legal Aid; Sarah Capps Hayes, Director of Grants and Pro Bono of Kentucky Legal Aid; Erica Hargis, Director of Kentucky Department of Corrections; Katy King, Presentence Investigations of Kentucky Department of Corrections; Hannah Keffer, District 3 Reentry Coordinator of Kentucky Department of Corrections; Lisa Winsett, Supervising Officer of Kentucky Department of Corrections; Rondeshia Whitlow, Juvenile Facility Superintendent at Warren Regional Juvenile Detention Center; LaShanna Harris, Director for the Division for Program Services and PREA Compliance Officer; Ashley Clark, Clinical Supervisor for Department of Family and Juvenile Services and Administrative Office of the Courts; Diana Hunt, Behavioral Health Specialist, Park Place Recovery for Women and Lifeskills; Edie Railey Stonex, Regional Supervisor of Department of Pretrial Services; Lori Sites, Department of Pretrial Services; Lynn Hulsey, Director of Programming at Family Enrichment Center; Anne Embry, Local Resource Coordinator of Likeskills; and Nellie Arnett, Unit Manager of U-SPIRIT-US/Centerstone.